Category Archives: embroidery

Hey, It’s Christmas Again!

Our coffee press broke a few days ago (I know, tragic!) so I went to Tar-jay, and what to my wondering eyes did appear? A bin full of Hannukah stocking caps (or toboggans, as Matt calls them).  It’s officially holiday time!

To that end, I am throwing my eco-friendly weirdo ornaments into the consumerist carnival. And some pillows. My shop is overflowing with them, currently. If I worked at it, I could probably have enough weird things to set up an actual table at a holiday show…

I did a little photo shoot in the pine tree in my front yard. Outdoor crafty photoshoots are always risky business. Products certainly look really interesting in a tree, in an old barn, or on a duck’s back, on the beach, etc, but sometimes I think, “Golly, this person spent hours making that quilt and then tossed it in the mud to take a picture of it to sell it?” Do you really want to  buy something that has been drug around through the sand? Maybe you do! None of my business.

Anyway, I can assure you, my pine tree is VERY CLEAN. Here is a link to my shop.

Christmas Ornaments

Christmas story ornament

Existential Embroidery Time!

Christmas Embroideries and cat prints
I had some free time and needed a break from quilts so decided to get a head start on making some Christmas ornaments to sell and give away. I finished a bunch of them yesterday, but Matt borrowed our super-camera to take pictures of molecules or something science-y like that. So, then, my soaking wet cat ran in from the rain and kept joyfully headbutting my hand as I attempted phone pictures (note paw prints).

But what is really on my mind is my slow disillusionment on the concept of making things to sell them.  Yesterday I saw for the first time some embroidery featured on the front page of Etsy. often calls out Etsy for featuring hipster aesthetic images over skill or substance crafts, and I tend to agree. I was excited to see some work featured that I felt was similar to mine, kind of, ish? This seller had hundreds of sales of her very expensive ($40-60) hand-made embroideries, which were mostly just very simple embroidered letters displayed in a hoop.  So, not really similar to me, at all.

For some reason, this was very disturbing to me, and I’m not quite sure why. I think it embodied a lot of what I don’t enjoy about the crafting world, a sphere which I admit I only have a few toes dipped into, anyway. I don’t want to sit around and embroider the letter S (or any other letter) all day, and I understand that pillows featuring unicorns playing the concertina have a narrower market audience. I never hoped to get rich off embroidering potatoes playing the fiddle either, and I don’t really work very hard to promote my brand or come up with a single product like everyone says you have to actually get somewhere in crafting businesses.

Animals Playing Music Pillow

So I don’t want to say that I was jealous of this person’s success embroidering initials. Her work is really very attractive and nice-looking.  Demoralized? Disoriented? Most “success” stories I hear about crafters involve incredible amounts of hard work and making things you’re possibly not very excited about making, over and over and over again. So, blah, what is the point?

I like sewing, but I feel like trying to sell things that I sew adds this weird pressure to the process.  But, crafts are made to be used and enjoyed, right? If not, what’s the point?  Also, selling things does help me buy more sewing supplies! I guess what I’m really saying is that I would like to become a member of the landed gentry and/or have a sponsor to pay me millions of dollars to sit around and make weird stuff that I think of. Is this too much to ask?

It’s OK to be Jealous…

I’m experimenting with printing onto fabric using an inkjet printer. Laserjet doesn’t work because the ink just sits on top of the fabric and you can rub it off. This is my first try and I’m very happy with the picture quality EXCEPT it’s not waterproof, which for some reason I didn’t think of, a huge bummer. It got some raindrops on it when I was sewing outside and the ink ran! Now I’m not sure what to do with it as a final project. I could frame it? I wanted it to be a sexy Elvis pillow, but I think that a sexy Elvis pillow needs to be able to handle moisture…

PS you can print waterproof using a bubblejet/inkjet printer but you have to pre-treat the fabric before your print it and it’s too late for this Teddy Bear Elvis. I have to go buy the stupid stuff and try again.

Embroidery at Occupy Columbus

Click to see all the pics and the full story! This is not exactly what Democracy looks like, per se, to me, but here I am just the same. My picture has been in the paper before, but this is probably one of my funniest moments. And, happily this is totally anonymous, except that I’m bragging about it. Here is the full article/photos/video.

I wanted to stay at the rally for more than a few hours so I brought something to keep my hands busy. Yes, it is a rhino playing guitar.

I thought about sewing up some cool slogan, but I wasn’t feeling any in particular.

One gal I talked with said she had a bag of yarn laying around the house and was thinking of bringing it to the next event and teaching people how to knit. I think that is a brilliant idea, especially since I don’t know how to knit.

It is so important to have things for people to engage in and ways for them meet each other at rallies like this, if there are not going to be speakers or chants, etc. There were a lot of people there by themselves, like me, who were kind of wandering, not talking to anyone (except I talked to people). Having an activity is a way to break the ice and get folks to stay longer and feel a more personal stake and connection to the work you’re doing.

Yes, I’m selling that too!

Mushrooms KnittingToday I have been busy being Ms. Local Economy.

I put my wedding dress and a million other things leftover from the wedding on Craigslist today. Five antique cake plates anyone? A basket of silk flowers? All the free stuff is already gone, so if you wanted some bright orange soot-covered faux-suede folding chairs, SORRY (note: these are not from the wedding, actually, just some crap we had around the house).  It freed up a bunch of space in my living room and now I’m really excited about getting rid of ALL THE THINGS! Don’t tell Matt!

Some people have told me I should save my wedding dress to make into baby christening gowns (for whose babies?!?!) and/or quilts and maybe even a ham napkin…but the material is probably pretty fragile I think for anything so cool. Plus I kind of like the idea of someone else wearing my dress. Also, to be honest I’m sick of looking at it hanging on the back of the bedroom door and it doesn’t fit in the closet.  It was really fun to wear, but it’s really not that awesome to just sit and stare at an empty dress.

I also posted NEW STUFF FOR SALE ON MY ETSY PAGE! Someone bought a bunch of my patterns today, and last week I sold a quilt! I’ll be honest, but I haven’t sold much since early July and had kind of forgotten about it. Oh yeah, and I was busy.

I posted up some super exciting fun-tastic veggies doing cool stuff patterns. The mushroom pattern above is actually available free, but, you have to pay if you want an image of okra doing jump rope. Or just ask REALLLLLLY nicely.

Pillow Party!

I accomplished several things today, on MY BIRTHDAY.

1. I continued having a cold/sinus infection. Good work!

2. I peacefully got the squirrel that my cat chased into my house off my desk and out the door. (Though I could have gotten better pictures…)

Squirrel on Computer

3. I posted a bunch of pillows that I finished on Etsy. And a very geeky set of ornaments. I’m excited to have stuff up there that’s under $100 again.  I did the embroideries mostly over the winter, but never turned them into pillow cases. The last couple days I’ve been determined to “Make It Sew.” And sew I did.

Ooh, can I patent “Make It Sew”? A brief google search shows me that a million people have already named their store and/or products “Make It Sew” Ha ha.

The intersection of sewing and Star Trek nerds = best people in the world.

4. Also I sold a quilt and made a label for the back using the embroidery function on my machine which I always forget how to use. But I re-learn faster every time.

Pillow Party

Anyway, because I have accomplished more than sleeping all day, I think I deserve some affirmation from one of my new pillows:
Damn I'm Good Embroidered Pillow

Carrot or Carrot? Free Pattern and Survey

Hey hey hey! The Veggie embroidery patterns are getting closer. I’m sitting on my 95 degree front porch drinking iced soymilk/espresso, my laptop is burning a whole in my skirt, and I’m staring at these two drawings of carrots gardening, wondering, which is better? Or should I include both? I suppose I’m more inclined towards the curly haired carrot, since, you know, I’m curly haired. But the straight mohawk carrot has a gentle fierceness I appreciate.

So, long story short, I’m offering these for free, and if you want to embroider up a sample of them and give me a critique on my patterns, I’ll give you a bunch of free patterns, and uh, seeds from my garden, and uh, whatever else you want that I have around, say, a couple of black and white cats and a orange-headed boyfriend? But those are just for borrowing, I’d want them back.

(Just kidding, boyfriend!) (I know he’s reading this.)

(Cats can’t read, I can say whatever about them! Ha!)

Ok, so in sum:

1.  Which carrot is better? (Optional answer: You hate both carrots.)

2. Do you want to test some patterns for me?

3. My boyfriend is not for sale or trade.

New Pattern: Snuggle Time!

It's on Etsy!OMG I finally made a new pattern. Kind of the opposite of the summer veggies patterns I am working on thinking about working on, it is a wintery-ish pattern – umm…in honor of everyone over wintering in Antarctica right now? Did you know that they get an order of over 16,000 condoms in for the 100 researchers who spend the winter there?

Anyway, if it is summer where you are, you always have the option to sit in front of a fan to snuggle with your favorite moose or unicorn, so my timing is still good.

Even though I drew this and probably am not supposed to gush over my own stuff, but can I just say that the moose’s rump is like the cutest thing ever to me? Except for the stegosaurus/dragon thing, I actually did look at pictures of animals sleeping to draw these. I then embroidered them on some flannel pillowcases – and used glow in the dark thread for the unicorn.

ALSO you may notice that this pattern is listed for $4 because I am raising my prices on my patterns. They are still like the cheapest embroidery patterns on Etsy, which is kind of evil to other pattern sellers, except no one else is selling moose rump embroidery patterns…

Piles of Unfinished Stuff This Week

Normally I quilt on one project until it’s done, but these past few weeks that has not been the case. It’s Work In Progress Wednesday!

Whole Cloth Quilt Front

I started the red/purple whole cloth quilt last week and got it all quilted up, but I can’t decide how to bind it. I think I want to bind it in matching velvet, because, why not! Any thoughts? I am afraid to introduce anything much to it, but I don’t want to be boring.

Whole Cloth Quilt BackI free-motion quilted the flowers – which I drew on – and I’m very happy with it. Though I wish it was bigger.  It is that size quilt that’s too big for the wall and too small for a bed. So, a couch quilt. And it’s 85 degrees, so blah.

For the backing I used a pink flowery sheet which I love and the colors matched, but after I had it quilted I feel like the style does not match. It’s growing on me though. Because, it’s not like I’m undoing it.

And, I’ve started my first quilt out of my hand-dyed fabrics. We did two color graduations – I used fuchsia as the base for both- in my dyeing class. I half-square-triangled it up (is that a verb?). I was trying a new half-square triangle method and accidentally made them smaller than I intended, but the final effect is better, I think, with the small triangles. Cat sleeping half square triangles

I want the quilt to be bigger though, but I’m almost out of fabric and I’m way out of patience for more tiny half-square triangles.  I do love the cat appliqué though! As you can see, the cat sleeping applique on the quilt is very appropriate:

Cat sleeping quilt with cats sleeping

This weekend we drove 20 hours round -trip to New Jersey – for our bridal shower!! – I started a new embroidery on the way home, surrounded by Cuisanart appliances. Actually, I started the embroidery in Pennsylvania. And worked on it for about 16 hours in Pennsylvania.  Frankly, I’m pretty over Pennsylvania for a while.

Veggies on Their Way!

Veggie Pattern In ProgressVeggie Pattern In ProgressBecause it’s raining too much to do much with my veggies in the garden, I’ve decided to finally finish my Veggies Extravaganza pattern series.

Oh did you not know I was working on a Veggie Pattern series? That’s because I have been very lazy, ahem, secretive about it.

The only hint I have given was the free “Kale On Guitar” pattern I put out in February.

I’ll do some more free veggie patterns sometime soon (definitely within the next five years!).

I’m stitching up the sample For Sale patterns right now.

One thing that is amazing about veggies is that their little sprouts taste just like the big version of themselves. I know because I generally eat all the sprouts that I thin out. Waste not, want not! Most startling this morning was the tiny, tiny cucumber sprout full of cucumber flavor, if a cucumber was a leaf.